Tag Archives: triune life


Greetings friends!

I would like to elaborate on why I call a true follower of Jesus a “Bula man-river.”*

Man is the riverbed, and the Holy Spirit is “Living Waters,” hence the Bula man-river. (John 7:38) Like a glove to a hand, there is a natural fit between the riverbed (man) and the “living waters” ( Holy Spirit). They exist for each other. They exist as one so that the Bula man-river’s* existence is codependent upon the other. Neither one can act in “solitary mode” without the other being affected. They exist to live in the “Triune mode” for the Spirit brings man to the Father through the Son. Together they live as unified being with the Spirit bringing man into the “Triune Life” of God in heaven. If we remember that, we will understand the “living waters” is all man need because the riverbed exists to be filled and completed by it. There is no other purpose for the riverbed (you), except to be filled with the “living waters” (Spirit). In that condition, man’s response is to follow the lead of the Spirit if the “living water” is to continue unabated and be filled to the river’s banks. It takes effort in our participation to “carry our cross” daily and follow Jesus and stay hidden in Him, as the waters cover the riverbed. We keep the Spirit “unquenched” and flowing in the Bula man-river (2 Tim. 1:6). The Spirit helps to keep the riverbed filled and buried in the watery cover of Jesus’ Word of power. This is the life of miracles in the Spirit.

Mountain Landscape with River Valley and the Prophet Hosea, By Flemish Painter Gillis van Coninxloo (1544-1607)

‘Flow’ to Others

“Flow” or hydrology is the central driving force of a river’s ecology. “Flow” means movement and life. It’s the opposite of inactivity and morbidity. “Flow” does not stop or get bottled up in us but overflows to others – “to spread the aroma of the knowledge of Him everywhere” (2 Cor. 2:14-16). To “flow” means to be missional in our outlook to life. It is to live a life of purpose in Jesus, who “flows” in man into the valleys and communities every day. As we experience this joyful Triune Life in Jesus, we are to seek and share this awesome life with others. With the conviction of Jesus’ mediatory work (“flow”), we now look to Him and follow His example of doing good to all in the valleys we will course through  (Acts 10:38; 2 Cor. 2:14-15).

God has made us “unified beings” joined to Him as He is in His Son by the Spirit’s power. This life is all conveyed in the metaphor of the river, the riverbed (man) and the “living waters” (Spirit). A unified being is a universal being, not a “solitary being.” God seeks relationships with other human beings as naturally as He loves us individually. Whether we realize it or not, we are all river-dwellers, and we all live downstream from one another. We benefit from the generosity of other people as we live like rivers, “flowing” into the lives of people in our valleys and communities. The interaction of life experiences of other people with ours, all happening in one common water source of Jesus Himself. Certainly, no man can live to himself, and no man dies to himself (Rom. 14:7).

Perhaps no other human endeavor forces us to apply so many disciplines to harness the power and miracle of the river and its waters. Its dynamism connects to so many economic, social, and environmental concerns on which we find common ground for relationships through its generous free-flowing waterways. This is a powerful metaphor, but it is spiritually real. It is God’s reality for man to become Bula man-rivers* that never stop flowing to others (John 7:38).


The Greek philosophy of dualism has dominated modern thinking in religion and education: life is compartmentalized into two worlds man lives. There is the spiritual world, and there’s the physical/material one, and never the twain shall meet, let alone agree. This veil of blindness has hindered man from experiencing the three-dimensional Triune Life in Jesus. G.K. Chesterton said that men are incomplete thinkers. “We want things in fragments, that way we do not have to think about our inconsistencies. That way, we do not mind when our work contradicts our ideals (or principles), or when our politics contradicts our faith, and we keep each thing in its watertight compartment.” (The Apostle of Common Sense, p. 19) Even in our laws, there is a separation of church and state. One is spiritual and the other is secular. Coupled with the unproved theory of evolution, we live life unsure if we are instinctive beasts or transcendent beings.

We live this dualistic persona, taking our spiritual life to “church” on Sunday mornings and subsisting like evolutionary beasts the rest of the week. However, the river never gives a picture of such a life lived in dualism – the supernatural and the physical/secular is one expression of life. There is only one life and lived as one. The spiritual and the temporal are fused together into one single expression of life – Christ and the Bula man-river* flowing as one “unified being.” The first movement of the Bula man-river* is to live as a “unified being” in relationship with the people in his valley. Paul, by stating, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me,” proves the fusion of both the physical and spiritual life into ONE in Jesus and the Spirit before the Father (Gal. 2:20).

The valley is the world, not only in all its beauty, but its ugliness as well. The river never differentiates or discriminates; it waters all in its path. It is man’s dualistic thought that makes him live a life of contradictions and opposing values. We can’t live as Bula man-rivers* of God with generosity on the spiritual side and self-centeredness on the physical/material side. The Love of God waters all and accepts all, and that is why Paul said “there is no law against love” (Gal. 5:23b, 22-23).

The Oxbow,  Connecticut River Valley, by Thomas Cole (1836)

The Bula man-river* receives the whole of Christ in the “living waters” – both His divinity and glorified humanity. This means Jesus is with you in all your activities – in your place of work, in your hobby, when you are at a wedding, or watching a favorite sport, and in all circumstance of life. The river teaches us that Christ is ever present with us, in our brokenness and our good times, in our struggles and our peace, in our joy and our sadness. He is part of our every experience as a human. Nevertheless, when we compartmentalize our lives, we suffer from the disorientation of trying to live in two worlds with contradictory posture to each other. We live in the presence of God all the time, and Jesus is in us all of the time. In the movie Chariots of Fire, Eric Liddell said, “Yes, God called me to be a missionary, but He also made me fast.” Either way, whether Liddell is performing missionary work or running in the Olympics, Jesus is fully and completely in his life. We have that freedom to be what we are gifted as a person. When you are at a baseball game, He is immersed in the game also. This is the vicarious humanity of Jesus living in us. This is Trinitarian living being experienced as the Bula man-river.*


Until we meet again in my next post, may the blessing of the God who ceaselessly expresses Himself in His dependable Triune Love, be with you today and give you strength for authentic creative “Triune Living” as a Bula man-river.*

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to write me in the space provided below, or email me on bulamanriver@gmail.com.

Kiang                                                                                                                                                            (Your Servant in Christ)  

*The “Bulamanriver” is the metaphor describing the union of man with the Love of the Triune God flowing in humans, making possible the “Triune Life” – the source of the miraculous life in man. Man is the “riverbed” and the Spirit is the “living waters” that cover him and flows to all in his valley (destiny). (John 7:37-39)

NOTE: All information from this website is copyrighted. Any use of its content should be acknowledged by citing the website, address, date of acquisition and information pertinent to original authorship.


Greetings once more friends the world over!

Let’s see how we ended in Part 1 of this series: Communication is prayer; boundary is the Bible; sacrifice is obedience and fasting; goal is our calling and meditation, leadership is vision; and encouragement is praise. Let me elaborate on these six Love “etiquettes” we bring into our relationship with the Triune God.


Dove – Symbol of Divine Love (Wiki Commons)


It is clear from the Bible that God wants to be addressed in a loving Fatherly way where we call Him “Abba, Father.” It’s an endearing term like “Dad,” “Papa,” or whatever manner we address fathers in our various customs and cultures. “The Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” (Rom.8:15)  When we communicate with our biological fathers, there is no legalistic rules which says you can speak to him only three times a day, like its commonly taught in Christianity to pray. Paul tells us to be constant in prayer or communication. (Col.4:2) He said be faithful in communicating (praying) to God. (Rom12:12) It means we can approach God at any time of day or night and He is always attentive to what we have to say. He doesn’t get tired of hearing from us. Of course, we ought always to be reverent in our attitude.

How to Pray

Not being disingenuous in any way, humans don’t know how to pray (communicate) with God because He is holy and humans exist in a fallen state of existence that’s in total conflict with Him. He exists in a glorified state of His consummate Love that humans don’t have it in them to approach such a holy God. To be blunt, the radiance of His righteous glory would annihilate us because of our depraved state of being. But He made us in His image, and has made a way in His Son who glorified our humanity through and in Himself, by His life, death, resurrection, and ascension, so we can communicate freely through Him. And God had this planned from the beginning that this was the only way sinful humans could communicate with Him directly – through a Mediator who is a permanent Savior for humanity.

Hence, the Bible tells us Christ prays for us. “Christ Jesus who died–more than that, who was raised to life–is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.” (Rom.8:34) So does the Holy Spirit. “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.” (Rom.8:6) These two verses from the same chapter in Romans tells how God receives our prayer. Paul says, “Praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication.” (Eph.6:18) The Spirit has been given to be the believer’s sponsor before God “forever” – “And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever.” (John 14:16) The Spirit constantly takes our communication (prayers) to Jesus who presents our utterances perfect before the Father. That is the only way God can open the channel of communication with Him in His Son and through the Spirit who lives in us. Prayer is not a chore, it is an act of Love.

And remember this, this mediation principle by Jesus in the Spirit’s power applies to the remaining Love “etiquettes” below.

The Bible/Family Rules and Customs

Just as the family rules and customs are not unknown to each member of the human family, so it ought to be in the family of God. Peter says, “We study to show ourselves approve unto God.” (2 Tim.2:15, KJV) We read and study our Bibles when necessary to know what the proper form of behavior in God’s family. Paul told Timothy, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.” (2 Tim.3:16) If we don’t, how do we know how to behave in an acceptable way before the members of the family who are knowledgeable about the rules and customs. If we are left out of the loop, our actions would cause acrimony and division. Even in the arena of sports, the objective of a game is governed by the rules on how to attain the game’s objective. Without rules, there is no game. Rules exist to ensure the objectives are achieved within the bounds set for it, so fair play governs the game. Without rules there would be chaos and disorder. It is because we understand this underlying reason that we get to know about the rules.This is no different with God and His relationship with His family.

Jesus is the Personified Word of God. It is Herald the Spirit who makes Christ relevant in the way we think and act within the bounds of the “Triune Life.” (John 16:13-15)


They say rules are made to be broken. Consequently, sacrifice is something we give so co-equality is the condition that can be sensed by all in the family environment. As in all human societies, there are people who flaunt rules rather than make sacrifices to obey them. There are times when rules don’t concur with our plans. It happens. This is when we are called upon to let go of our personal desires for the greater good of all in the family. In God’s family, our Father has given us the promised Spirit to help us make the sacrifices and be obedient to the rule of Love which makes us co-equal. Obedience is not something legalistic, but we do out of self-giving, self-sacrificing, Love because we are contributing to the family’s greater good. God our Father has not asked us to sacrifice for His family without stepping on the plate and be the first to do so by sacrificing His Son for us. (John 3:16-17)

Jesus is the only human who obeyed God perfectly, and it is through His life that we live vicariously and appear before the Father. “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are–yet he did not sin.” (Heb.4:15)


The purpose of rules and obedience is so discipline can be inculcated in members of the family. This discipline extends to how a person conducts himself and becomes part of a responsible citizenry. But in a personal sense, this exercise of one’s self-will in a responsible manner extends to each person’s development, especially in the area of education. The purpose of education is to help one make right and responsible decisions in life. Education is the vehicle by which members of the family discover their gifts and vocations to live purposely lives. This is the same in the family of God. God has gifted us all differently so we can have purpose and meaning in life.

Jesus is giver of all gifts because He is the repository of all Godly wisdom from which destinies originate: “In whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” (Col.2:3; Eph.4:8)

Rublev’s famous icon of Holy Trinity


Without loving leadership in the family, all of the above will amount to nothing. Leadership in the family falls squarely upon the shoulders of the parents, chiefly the father. The Bible says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” (Pro.29:18) Leadership starts the communication, it sets the rules for the family, and ensures all members of the family obey them, and make sacrifices where and when necessary and by whom. Most of all, leadership provides a common vision where all members of the family can feel part of, and are co-equal beneficiaries through their individual calling and purpose. Leadership provides a way for all who are gifted differently to express their talents and arrive at the common objective. The family of God works the same way: our heavenly Father provides the loving leadership in an environment with co-equal vision and objectives.

Jesus is the head and leader of the family called the church: “And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills everything in every way. ” (Eph.1:22-23; 4:7-8)


In life, as in any endeavor, setbacks are a fact of life. There will be discouraging episodes when giving up seems like the only option. That is when leadership steps in to encourage members of the family to hang in there. Good leadership praise and reward people for their industry and loyalty. The Bible tells us, “All things work together for good,” even the bad episodes. Joseph told his brothers who had sold him at the age of seventeen to the slave market, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done.” (Gen.50:20) Too many times we interpret the present negative circumstance in isolation from the bigger picture. Every experience, be it a good or bad, is like a piece of the jig-saw puzzle forming the picture we see on the box (vision/gift). Obviously, any single piece of the puzzle of itself cannot tell us how the whole picture will turn out. That’s why it’s called a puzzle. And life can be puzzling at times. Proper leadership and vision encourages the family to stay the course till the desired goal is reached.

God has the power to create circumstances to make all things work in your favor. “And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work.” (2 Cor 9:8) Also, “For He has said, “I will never leave you, nor forsake you.” So that we may boldly say, “The Lord is my Helper,” and I will not fear what man shall do to me.” (Heb.13:5-6)

These are the six “etiquettes” we bring into the “Triune Life” in our relationship with the family of God. I hope it has been helpful.


Until we meet again in my next post, may the blessing of the God who ceaselessly expresses Himself in His dependable Triune Love, be with you today and give you strength for authentic creative Triune Living as a Bula man-river.*

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to write me in the space provided below, or email me on bulamanriver@gmail.com.

Kiang                                                                                                                                                           (Your Servant in Christ)

*The “Bulamanriver” is the metaphor describing the union of man with the Love of the Triune God flowing in humans, making possible the “Triune Life” – the source of the miraculous life in man. Man is the “riverbed” and the Spirit is the “living waters” that cover him and flows to all in his valley (destiny). (John 7:37-39)

All scriptures are taken from the NIV Version 2011, unless stated otherwise.

NOTE: All information from this website is copyrighted. Any use of its content should be acknowledged by citing the website, address, date of acquisition and information pertinent to original authorship.


Greeting once more friends!

People have come to know about God’s Triune nature through this Bulamanriver blog posts. Others have come to the knowledge of God by other means – through the Bible, through people, through books, through a local church, other media forms, and so forth. But how many know how to relate with the God of the Bible? He seeks to relate with man, but how do we relate with Him? We relate with people in different ways, depending upon our affiliation and the kind of bond we have with them. We do not relate with people the same way. There is a way we relate within those in the circle of one’s family. Then, within the family there’s even sub-relational bond like spousal, children, the extended family, and so forth. Outside the home, we have professional relationship at work. Then there’s another we develop in society that’s social in nature. We have friends that’s different and special to our relationships. There’s a relationship we develop with our immediate neighbors, and the community at large. Then it extends to the very nation of which we are all citizens, whatever the country may be. In other words, you form relationship ‘protocols’ for different associations with people. There is one underlying motivation which ought to govern all our relationships however different they may be. And there is a way to relate with God. That’s what I will share in this post.

Rublev’s famous icon of Holy Trinity (Wiki Commons)

God Is Trinitarian

Readers of this blog will know by now how I have attempted to explain the nature of God in my blog posts. This is important because a right relationship with God can’t be formed until we have a true and proper understanding of His nature. I will not explain the nature of God at much length except to refer you to my past blogs where I have dealt with this topic at some length. (“Life Begins Where Our Concept of God Takes Root,” Parts 1-3, May 2013) In short, God is Trinitarian, not “solitary.” God is therefore Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. He is Three yet hypostatically One. God is Love by hypostasis making three separate Persons relationally and indivisibly One. (1 John 4:8) What I share in this blog is the relational ‘etiquette’ we bring into our relationship in His Triune Being.


Relating with God is like relating with a very close intimate friend. When we treasure a person’s friendship we do everything to keep and grow the bond of that friendship. You would go to extra length to find out all you can about him or her. You find out your friend’s likes and dislikes, so you’ll not do anything to hurt, but cultivate and make the relationship flourish. You find out about the person’s family and friends and get to know them better. In a way, you form a ‘friendship etiquette’ or protocol that’s reserved only for that friend, which you do not extend to others. The Bible says, “There’s a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” (Pro. 18:24b) So, sometimes friendship can be closer than family. Friends are important relationships to a person. But more than friends, God goes a step further and regard us as family as well. He Loves us dearly and would not spare any pains to form a lasting family relationship with us.

First Things First  

When it comes to our relationship with God, the first observation is that relationship begins with Him – He existed in relationship as the Father, Son, and Spirit, and extends the hand of relationship to humans – not the other way round! The Bible tells us that He first Loved us which makes it possible to Love Him in return. (1 John 4:19)  That’s the first ‘protocol’ to observe. That’s obvious because He is Creator, and He made man in His image so He can develop a relationship with humans. This relationship He desires with man is the same kind of relationship God has from eternity in His Triune existence as Father, Son, and Spirit. Every human being derives his personality from the Triune Being of God in the Persona of the Tri-Personal God. They exist as Three free Persons who choose to be One in the bond of Love, and desires to have the same kind of existence with humans. (Gen.1:26-27)

Man Just Doesn’t Have It!

Here is man’s predicament in this relationship with God. God’s holiness in His unfeigned Love is what man in his sinfulness is incapable of responding because he does not have the same divine Love. Man just does not have the equivalent Love to relate with God. So there is this unbridgeable chasm which exists between man and God which prevents a relationship from being forged. It’s not as if God did not offer it to man, it was offered to him in Eden, but man rejected it for a life of fear instead of His Love by rebelling. And fear has been the dominant factor in man’s life he inherited since Adam’s eviction from Eden because of his sin.

“I am the Way…”

God’s answer to restoring the relationship, and the only way, is through the second Adam, Jesus Christ, His Son. All humans find themselves in this spiritual bondage which he cannot extricate himself. Jesus, who is Himself God as the Father and the Spirit, and who possesses the same divine Love, is the Person God gives man to restore the relationship. Thus, He is qualified to mediate and represent man in making man’s union and relationship possible. Jesus, by taking upon Himself His human body and our humanity, effectually joined mankind to the divine Godhead in substance and reality. Jesus took our humanity through His human body into a glorified state by His perfect life, sacrificial death, His glorious resurrection and ascension into heaven, and becomes our Mediator in His High Priestly role. Man can now Lovingly relate with God on equal terms in and through Jesus. That’s how God extends His hand of relationship with all humans, and by which man responds with the same Love protocol back to God. This is the only way, and this is the plan of God for man to enter into a relationship with Him. In this regard, Paul speaks of “putting on Jesus” as if being ‘cloaked’ in His very glorified humanity thus enabling man to enter and live this Triune existence of Love with the Trinitarian God (Gal. 3:27).

Intimacy In The Triune Life

The nearest human institution that can compare to living the Trinitarian life is the family and the home. In reality, the family was originally given at creation to forever remind humanity of the Life of the Tri-Personal existence of God, after whom the marriage institution received its legitimacy. Recall that the institution of marriage was given to man before Adam’s fall. It’s the only relationship given to man to reflect Himself in His Triune Being, when man was at One with God before Adam’s eviction from Eden. So, marriage and home is the byproduct of the Trinity. Paul said, “I kneel before the Father from whom every family in heaven and earth derives its name.” (Eph.3:14-15) Of course, the modern family is far removed from the model God has set for it from the beginning, nevertheless, it is through life in the Trinity that we will begin to taste God’s plan for the family He ordained and made for humanity. The home is a place where Love and intimacy is the glue which holds together all the persons who make up the home. It is not an institution like that of a business where the people relate through functions and as associates. In the home, the human ‘personhood’ is of paramount importance for it reflects the Tri-Personal Being of God. This should be the case with every other non-familial institutions, for what occurs in the home ought to be replicated in all of life’s expression.


Dove – Symbol of Divine Love (Wiki Commons)

Love is Key

In the Trinity, as it should in the human home, the relationship of the personalities in the family works optimally only when Love is given and received. Love is the ingredient which engenders a healthy and generous relationship within the home. Love is what makes the marriage more than an institution – it makes marriage a home. The home is a world where privacy, security, and Love is dispensed, and where one is protected from the machination of a malevolent world. When a believer lives the “Triune Life” he or she is at home because of God’s Love – for “God is Love.” (1 John 4:8)

Christ  and The Church (You)!

Paul tells us that marriage is like the relationship between Christ and the church. (Eph.5:25) Just as Love and intimacy is the bond of marriage, so it is with our relationship with the Triune God through Christ. Just as the marriage commitment (covenant) protects the private intimacy between two people, so it is with a person’s relationship with God. The marriage of the church to Christ is protected by the New Covenant agreement. (Heb.8:7-13) The church is not a building, but comprises of people – you and me! In it, God makes certain promises, and, they involve God’s “heart.” He says He will give us a heart to Love Him faithfully. (Heb.8:10) When the heart is involved intimacy comes with it. We don’t give our hearts to someone without intimacy being central to its expression. Entering the “Triune Life” means we have given our hearts for intimate relationship with God. Intimacy is the expression of the inner sanctum of a person’s heart – the most private and ‘secret’ shared with another only in a marriage. Intimacy is not ordinary relationship, but it is protected through restricted access, hence, the Love-bond through the marriage covenant.

Ulterior and self-centered motives harm the relationship, and ultimately destroys the marriage and home if not remedied. Idolatry, considered “playing the harlot” in the Bible, destroys intimacy with God because intimacy is shared with other gods. It is spiritual adultery. (Exo.34:15-16; Deut.31:16-17) Peter said, “You have tasted the kindness of the Lord.” (1Pet.2:3) The Psalmist declares, “O taste and see that the Lord is good.” (Psa.34:8) God has been intimate with us in His unconditional Love for us. When we have tasted His Love, it is only natural to reciprocate in equal intimate response. We have the ability to be intimate, because He has been intimate with us first, and intimacy is the prototypical model found only in the Trinity. (1 John 4:19) The Spirit gives us the heart to be filled with gratitude for what He has done. His first act of Love from which the Father will display His creative powers in human life thereafter, is to not withold His Son, but freely sacrifice Him for man so the relationship can be restored. Love is self-sacrifice, and it is in this intimate environment of Love that we joyfully enter and live the “Triune Life” through Christ.   

The 6 ‘Etiquettes’

How does a family remains strong, stable, and secure, where all members of the family can find meaning, purpose, strength, and happiness within the home and outside of the home? A family exist to fulfill the needs of all members of the family in self-giving Love. How each family member is nurtured most effectively depends upon its structure. There are six Love-motivations that form a healthy family structure. Let’s call them Love ‘etiquettes.’ They are 1) communication, 2) boundaries or rules, 3) self-sacrifice, 4) goals, 5) leadership, and 6) encouragement. Everyone who makes up the family has to have a clear understanding how each play a role, and gives himself or herself to that role, in these 6 areas which form the family home structure.

There is transparency governed by open communication with each member of the family. Each is knowledgeable of the boundaries for family practices and customs. There are times when family members are called upon to make sacrifices for the family. Each member has to have a worthwhile goal to achieve a life that’s suited to the person’s gift and purpose. Of course, all these cannot happen unless there is leadership and encouragement provided in the family by the parents, in particular, the father. 

In the exact fashion, the Triune God is a family of three members, and extends a hand to man to join in and participate in their Life. Our relationship with the members of the Triune Family is no different. It is too bad that we have turned the family motivations and ‘etiquettes’ mentioned above into practices that have become overly religious and legalistic, that it has lost all its meaning and impact. We need to refer to them as terms of endearment, because these are Love ‘etiquettes’ we display in the “Triune Life.” What are these?…Note their counterparts: Communication is prayer; boundary is the Bible; sacrifice is obedience and fasting; goal is our calling and meditation, leadership is vision; and encouragement is praise. These everyday common sense functions have been cloaked in religious terms for the legalist’s own ends. When we put them side by side like that, we can unwrap the religious and legalistic undertones they convey. Some have even call them “disciplines.” When we regard them as “disciplines” they are viewed as something forced upon us. No, these are Love “etiquettes” accepted by all as something we joyfully participate because Love is central in the relationship. We Love being part of the home because we see what Love does to all concerned. When all is said and done, there is no place like home, and we would gladly give our life to this relationship.

In my next installment I will get into the details of the 6 Love ‘etiquettes’ of life in the Trinity.


Until we meet again in my next post, may the blessing of the God who ceaselessly expresses Himself in His dependable Triune Love, be with you today and give you strength for authentic creative Triune Living as a Bula man-river.*

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to write me in the space provided below, or email me on bulamanriver@gmail.com.

Kiang                                                                                                                                                                  (Your Servant in Christ) 

*The “Bulamanriver” is the metaphor describing the union of man with the Love of the Triune God flowing in humans, making possible the “Triune Life” – the source of the miraculous life in man. Man is the “riverbed” and the Spirit is the “living waters” that cover him and flows to all in his valley (destiny). (John 7:37-39)

All scriptures are taken from the NIV Version 2011, unless stated otherwise.

NOTE: All information from this website is copyrighted. Any use of its content should be acknowledged by citing the website, address, date of acquisition and information pertinent to original authorship.


Greetings to you all, friends the world over!

I hope you found my 3-Part Post on the substitutionary role of Christ’s mediation helpful and useful to your faith, as much as it has brought you peace and joy that’s deservedly yours as a child of God. You are someone I call, Bula man-river,* a metaphor for the believer who is covered by Christ’s mediatory role as Savior and High Priest.

In this post, I would like to cover the topic of human relationships. Relationships are the most important of all human interactions.  It forms the basis of human existence and the foundation upon which all decent societies are built. They ultimately affect how we are judged as a nation, and how we conduct ourselves in international relations. (Pro.14:34) The origin of relationships is founded upon the nature of the Creator God who created all things to reflect Him in His Triune nature. God, who existed as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, lived in Loving relationship with each other from eternity. That is the basis of human relationships.

File:Holy Trinity Icon.jpg

Human Relationships based upon the Triune Life of God (Rublev’s Icon of Trinity, Wiki Commons)

Notice the plural/collective pronoun/adjective, God refers to Himself when He created mankind, “Let US make human beings in OUR image, make them reflect OUR nature, so they can be responsible for (have dominion) … creation” (Gen.1:26-27, MSG, emphasis added). “Elohim” is God in the plural. He did not say ‘let me,’ or ‘after my likeness.’ By declaring His plurality saying, ‘US,’ and ‘OUR,’ He signifies His Trinitarian nature, which is expounded in the scripture as the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, God. (Matt. 28:19; John 15:26; 2 Cor.13:14) God is Triune and therefore relational. He is not a “solitary” and reclusive Being. God is not some solo, self-contained Being who is trying to subjugate His people as a stern judge and ruler, as many picture Him. God’s underlying nature is Triune, from which their Love unites them in ONE existence – ONE, unified, and inseparable Being. God can only be Love and thereby relational because He is Triune. For Love unites, but isolation breeds fear and division. All of creation was the design of the God who is Trinitarian and reflects His Triune expression.

So, creation reflects His relational and interconnected existence. For there is no dislocation between God’s doing and who He is in His Triune Love. God Loves precisely because God is Love in His Triunity. There is no other possible way God could have made all things, whether visible or invisible, except to reflect Himself. Likewise, everything man does, he carries out to reflect his own humanity. For instance, man will not act to reflect the beast of the forest, for he has no inherent identity with beasts. We see this underlying dynamism at work in animated films, where animals are made to behave like humans; speak like humans. So, we can act and do things only by how we are intrinsically natured, from which we can never deviate. So, everything that must be said about relationships, if it is to have an authentic expression, has to start from the vantage point of man who is natured in God’s Triune image of Love. 

Love – The Foundation of Relationships

Man’s relationships will always be based upon Love, for God is Love. That is, His narrative of Love … not man’s definition. Whether man wish to acknowledge it or not, man’s existence is hardwired into God’s Love. When we deviate from that which we are natured to be, we find ourselves in problematic relationships. It seems everywhere we look there’s increasing fragmentation of relations. We question the sincerity of our love for people and wonder if it is worth our effort trying to love others, even on a human level. We have been blind-sided into these relationship knots from which we can’t free ourselves. However, many times we miss what Jesus tells us clearly: “A brand-new command I give you: Love one another.” If the decree to Love is a brand-new command, then what’s new about it? What’s different about it? Does it make any difference? He answers, “As I have Loved you, Love one another.” How did He Love us? He answers, “As the Father has Loved me, so have I Loved you. Now remain in my Love” (John 15:9). Jesus was speaking from His Trinitarian relationship in the Father and the Spirit. He was making known a new command of the Triune Love of God, which the disciples never saw except in the life of Jesus for three and half years.

File:Love What is It.JPG

“God is Love” (1 John 4:8) (Pic: Wiki Commons)

Leading Through Loving/Serving

So, though Jesus was the “leader” to His followers, He did not lead by domination. He displayed leadership by the Love in which He has always existed within the Triune Life of God. He reprimanded His disciples when they haggled about who was dominant among them. Jesus said, “whoever wants to be first among you must be a slave to everyone” (Mark 10:35-45, esp. V.44) He was first and foremost the Chief Servant. He proved this, when, after performing a servant’s work of washing the disciples feet before His death, He asked them, “Do you understand what I have done to you?” He answered, “You address me as ‘Teacher’ and ‘Master,’ and rightly so. That is what I am. So if I, the Master and Teacher, washed your feet, you must now wash each other’s feet. I’ve laid down a pattern for you. What I’ve done, you do. I’m only pointing out the obvious. A servant is not ranked above his master; an employee doesn’t give orders to the employer. If you understand what I’m telling you, act like it—and live a blessed life” (John 13: 12-17, MSG).  He led them by inviting them to live in the Triune Love and Life of God as He did.

The Triune Love was Never Before Seen in Man’s History, Until Jesus Came

The Triune Love between the Father, Son, and Spirit was something that was never seen articulated in humanity until the Son came and took upon Him His creaturely human body. Jesus came and made possible our “union” with the Triune God to make His new Love command a reality in human life. Never before in the history of man was this Triune Love seen or tasted in human experience until Jesus came. Only Adam and Eve enjoyed it for a time until they alienated themselves from God, and followed man’s “solitary” way of fear. This Love was seen in Jesus’ life, where He went about doing nothing but good and healing all who came to Him (Acts 10:38). When Jesus took our humanity into Himself, this very Love from the Triune Being of God became ours by inheritance. Peter said, “He (Christ) has given us His very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature.” (2 Pet.1:4) All it requires is faith, and the Holy Spirit makes Love flow in our lives as spiritual “living waters.” This is where your life as a Bula man-river takes his stand.

In my Book, “Bula man-river* – The Miracle of Triune Living,” I explained 3 mandates God gave man from the outset of His creation, by which to develop his relationship with God, other humans, and with creation as a whole. The three mandates reflect the way they existed from eternity in their Triune nature. He desires of man to adopt and live like they do in their Triunity. Here are excerpts from my Book on the 3 mandates:

1. The Genesis ‘Helper Mandate’

“The first act of man in his relationship with another human is to use his God-given purpose to promote “creative living” with his fellowman. The purpose of gifts is to be creative as God is Creator. If gifts originate from the divine source, then man’s relationship with one another is mediated by the One who is inherently part of the gift – the Gift-Giver, Jesus – through the “living waters” of the Bula man-river.* The creative aspect of this relationship was given at the beginning when Adam was created and the original “other” human was taken from him. There God uttered the first of three Genesis Mandates for man through Adam and Eve: to be a fitting “helper” for each other. Though the primary context for this instruction is marriage, the meaning is twofold. Since Eve was the only “other” human besides Adam, by extension she also represented our “neighbor,” whoever he or she may be. For the “helper” can be applied in every context, not necessarily matrimonial. I call this the “helper mandate.” We saw Jesus re-echoed this first principles from Genesis to His disciples in the final hours before His crucifixion.

“Paul encouraged the Corinthians, saying we are “helpers of your joy” (2 Cor. 1:24, KJV). Further, he told the Romans, “Owe no man anything, except the debt of Love” (Rom. 13:8; Gal. 6:2, KJV). Jesus reiterated man’s “helper mandate” when He said we are to “Love our neighbors as we Love ourselves” (Mark 12:31, emphasis added). The famed 23rd Psalm depicts God as the “helper” of mankind. So we see in all this that the “creative living” outline cannot be denied: to be a “helper.” The primary purpose of our calling therefore is ultimately to “help” one another and bring all mankind to unity with the Triune God in Jesus.” (Pg.177)

2. The Genesis ‘Dominion Mandate’

“We cease to be “helpers” when we violate man’s “dominion mandate.” What is the “dominion mandate”? It is the second Genesis Mandate that has two parts given to mankind by the Creator: how he is to interact and conduct himself with creation, and with his fellow humans. The first part is the “helper mandate” in man’s relation with his fellowman, while the “dominion mandate” explains man’s relation in his dominion over all creation, which doesn’t include dominion over another person (Gen. 1:26-31; 2:19-20). We are to “help” not “dominate” our fellow humans. Only God is man’s ruler because He is man’s Savior. We are to be man’s “helper,” not “ruler.” A person’s relationship with another is either creative or uncreative, productive or unproductive, but is hardly ever neutral. We make the mistake of trying to merge the two when it can’t be done, and we can be one or the other depending on which river we ride. There is no Savior of mankind except Jesus (John 3:16). Every single human is given equal and shared dominion over the earth under the Creator (Ps. 24:1; Eccl. 5:9, NKJV). The passage from Genesis makes clear the dual mandate of man’s dominion over the entire creation, and the mandate of being “helpers” of his fellowman.” (Pg.178)

Mankind has unwittingly, or wittingly, rendered God’s “dominion mandate” ineffective by violating His first mandate of being “helpers” of other’s joy. We have turned the “dominion mandate” on its head by seeking to control (dominate) others. So we see people resist and fight dictators and tyrants that’s littered in the annals of revolutions and uprisings, across the face of man’s history. They have no freedom to express themselves in a shared dominion of this earth where people of all races and cultures are equal inheritors, by Divine gesture. (Micah 4:4; Gen.1:26-27) Instead, in the flow of the Triune Life we have in Christ, we’re to live in the Life-energy of God’s Love-expression, to help people in the shared dominion of this earth. We must not see this earth as the object of our fears, which results in greed and covetousness. This is what we have witnessed in man’s history on this earth as man express himself in his “solitary” way of life, apart from God, and His mandates. The next mandate completes God’s three-fold decrees.

3. The Genesis ‘Triune Mandate’

“Man will dominate the blessing of the richness of this earth in peace, fairness, integrity, and true abundance when he exercises his dominion as the Creator decreed. God’s decree, vis-à-vis living like his Maker, ushers in the third Genesis mandate in the words, “Let us make human beings in the image and likeness. Male and female He created them” (Gen. 1:26, 27). I like to call this the “likeness mandate.” Man’s only purpose of existence is to live in the Creator’s likeness. As the likeness of God is Trinitarian, I also call it the “Triune likeness mandate.” By adding his “helper” and “dominion” mandates, man’s purpose can be said to be a “helper” of his fellowman in his “dominion” over this earth, by living in the “Triune likeness” of his Maker. Triune living is about a life of interdependence with one another in Christ and the Spirit, helping one another in man’s dominion of this earth.”

“The exercise of authority over another human, whether by coercion, physical force, or even psychological means, is precluded in the Genesis “dominion mandate.” God holds dominion over every man, woman, and child, and He has not abdicated His sovereignty since the creation of mankind. Man may live under the sway of his archenemy and his deceptions, but God is the final arbiter over man’s fate. You see, our Creator placed in humans the aggressive spirit to reinforce and support His earthly “dominion mandate.” That is how mankind has progressed and advanced, which continues to our present day. However, the mandate limits man’s domineering spirit over the earth and all in it, which precludes another human.” (Pg.179)

I go on to say in my Book that trust or faith is the bedrock upon which all healthy relationships are built and made to last.


“Trust (faith) is the basis of all human and Godly relationships that began in Eden. The foundation of trust is grounded upon the three-fold Genesis Mandates the Creator gave mankind. Those relationships were hijacked by the devil, who introduced his own “domineering” spirit dictated by distrust, fear, self-interest, and greed (Gen. 3). Man bought it lock, stock, and barrel, and the rest is a history of heartaches, sufferings, violence, and death. As a result of fear and the absence of God’s Spirit in man, the devil has wreaked havoc in men’s relationships with one another. God has never abdicated His sovereignty over man, and from the beginning promised a Savior (Gen. 3:15). Not only must we discontinue our control of our fellowman; we are also not to place our trust in them, but in God alone. The mandate is clear: it is to “help” not “trust.” The reason for this is obvious. There is only One who can save in whom man can wholly trust without fear of being betrayed or deceived – Jesus. Where people overextend their dominion to include men and place their wholehearted trust in them, sooner rather than later they awaken to find their trust is seriously misplaced.” (Pg.180)

From the Joyous to the Toxic

As I pen this blog post, I realize the innumerable human relationship issues that exist in all peoples from all walks of life. It is human to be in relationship dynamics where we are seeking resolutions for mutual co-existence. When we speak of humanity and relationships, they are one and the same thing. Our families are the product of relationships. Our work, though we may tacitly assume as matters of happenstance, are outcomes of relationships we have engendered, and continues to be such. So is school, and every other human affiliation we have encountered in life. Relationships come in all shapes, size, and color. At times relationships may seem insurmountable, complicated, and inexplicable.  At other times, they may not be so complicated where both parties see eye-to-eye on matters which can be of mutual interest and benefit. So, relationships can range from the joyous to the toxic.

Man Is  Relational…Because God Is!

All of man’s relationship issues can be traced back to man’s ignorance and flagrant violation of the three mandates given when God created humans. It seems, from most accounts, the issue that’s predominant in the world today is the blatant exploitation of the “dominion mandate” which renders the “helper mandate” superfluous and redundant. And we see this spirit of “control” extensive not only in the many facets of the life of individuals, but across the spectrum of human interactions, in communities, the corporate world, politics, of governance, to international relations between nations. Be that as it may, we cannot see this relationship issue simply on a one-dimensional “dominion mandate” view alone, for the three mandates can work only in unison. It must be understood that the first two mandates cannot be articulated in its true authentic expression without the third all-important mandate, where a person is existing from within the Triune Life of God. It is the foundation upon which the first and second mandates derive its life, energy, and meaning. For in fact, the “Triune mandate” is uttered first, as the foundation decree, as shown in Genesis. (Gen.1:26-27; 2:18) Here, as in all of His creation, we see how man’s relationship (existence) with his fellow humans relies upon this three-dimensional principle, rather than on fallen man’s “solitary” one-dimensional life. It is fashioned after a God who is Triune and lives by this same three-dimensional principle. Man’s relationship dynamics has its underpinning in the Creator who Himself is relational in His Tripartite existence.

The Genesis Three-Pronged Principle Basis of Human Relationships

Once we figured out God is Love in His Triune existence, and He has included us in His Trinitarian Being in His Son, by the power of the Spirit, we will see the authentic underpinning of man’s interaction with other humans. The Holy Spirit will be the power working mysteriously and miraculously in man, even though we may not be conscious of how He orchestrates life in all its complexity. Or so it seems, but not for Him. We will see human life is to be fashioned and shaped after the Creator who is relational, and we observe what Jesus said, “I have laid down a pattern for you. What I have done, you do” – living the Trinitarian Life. That is the first and all-important base we cover in this matter of human relationships. It begins with the family unit from which human life begins. Then it extends outside to others as our human connection determines how we cultivate relationships – in our homes, our work places, schools, churches, social interactions, villages and towns, in sporting activities, and numerous other affiliations. The three-pronged principle I have covered in this post is the way God has determined from the outset of man’s existence on this earth, as the essence of how human relationship is cultivated and made to thrive in its authentic expression, undergirded in His Triune nature of Love. (You may read my Book for a broader expose’ of this subject. See above for ordering details)

You, as a Bula man-river,* must recognize as having your existence in the Triune Being of God in Christ and through the inspiration of the Spirit, is made to have relationship engagements based upon God’s Love. I end with encouragement to live as Jesus did in the Triune Love and relationship He has with God and His fellowmen.


May the blessing of the God who ceaselessly expresses Himself in His dependable Triune Love, be with you today and give you strength for authentic Triune living in all your relationships.

Until the next post,

Kiang                                                                                                                                                          (Your Servant in Christ) 

* The “Bulamanriver” is the metaphor describing the union of man with the Love of the Triune God flowing in humans, making possible the “Triune Life” – the source of the miraculous life in man. To read the many facets of life of the Bula man-river, go to my website www.bulamanriver.com where you can order a copy of my Book. Thank you for your support.

All scriptures are taken from the NIV Version 2011, unless stated otherwise

Note: Any information obtained from this website that is used for publication should be acknowledged by citing the website address, date of acquisition and information pertinent to original authorship. For general guidelines regarding web citations see The Guide for Citing Electronic Information